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Seymour darts teens shine at national championships

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

SEYMOUR dart players Seth and Zane Kilroy spent a week in Queensland earlier this month, representing Victoria in the 2023 Australian Junior Darts Championships.

Competitors in the Seymour District Darts Association, Seth and Zane have had an interest in playing darts since 2016 and have played in multiple leagues and competitions including the Alexandra Darts League and Shepparton Darts Association, as well as the Geelong Easter Classic in 2021 and last year’s Junior Pacific Masters event.

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The Kilroy family has a long history in the Seymour District Darts Association, with the brothers’ grandparents being members of the league since the 1980s and parents Daniel and Tammy also playing regularly.

Daniel said he had played darts as a teenager, however Seth and Zane’s passion only began to grow through watching him play and practice in the past 10 years.

“I hadn’t played darts since 1994, but in 2016 my dad was looking to start up a new team and asked if I would be interested in playing,” he said.

“I started playing and practicing and the kids took an interest and started practicing at home too. They used to come along and watch us play, which only made them more keen to take up the sport.”

While the brothers began playing regularly and rapidly improved, the Seymour District Darts Association did not allow them to play competitively as they were too young.

Forced to travel to play in other leagues that allowed younger players to compete, Daniel joined the Seymour committee and became president of the league – pushing to allow juniors to play.

The age limit was eventually lowered to 13 after facing some resistance from other members.

“Both boys got pretty good pretty quickly. They are very evenly matched and played a lot of games against one another, and used to test themselves against me, but as there were no local pathways, that’s all they could do,” Daniel said.

“With the boys’ passion growing we started exploring different leagues without age limits. We headed over to the Alexandra Darts League where the boys got their first taste of competitive darts.

“In the winter of 2018, Seth was able to join a [Seymour] team and Zane followed a year later and took the competition by storm, with both boys winning several trophies in their first seasons and a couple of premierships over the year.”

Seth and Zane began looking to take part in junior state try-outs in late 2019, however COVID restrictions meant the competition was suspended for two years.

To keep players active during lockdown periods, Daniel created an online league to allow people from across Australia to play and practice – a format that is still widely used today.

Seth and Zane also took part in multiple online leagues, with Seth winning the Formula Sports Australian Junior Online Championship.

“Towards the end of COVID the boys had gotten so good that we wanted to put them in front of some of the influential people in the Australian darts circles, so toward the end of 2021 we started travelling to Melton Darts Club every Friday night to compete in their premier league against some very high quality opponents, which pushed both boys to new levels,” Daniel said.

“In July 2022 the boys went to the state team try-outs … with a large field of boys trying out, it was a massive day with only four spots on the team.

“Seth dominated the day, not losing a single leg while Zane only lost a couple of games. They were both lucky enough to be selected to represent Victoria.”

The Victorian team finished the event in third place overall with 210 points, narrowly behind Western Australia on 214 points and winners Queensland on 222 points.

Seth finished with the fourth highest average score for the tournament after competing in a range of different events throughout the week, with Zane also performing well to record the eighth highest average score.

Seth was also named the 2023 Australian Youth Masters Champion and has been selected to try-out for the Australian squad, which will travel to Denmark in September to play in the World Youth Masters.

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